Combatting End of the Year Burnout

After such vibrant weekends like Rites of Spring, it can be especially hard to wake up to the light of Sunday morning, which brings with it the dampening onset of responsibilities. For me especially I've found it difficult to maintain my normal motivation to be productive since coming to campus from spring break. Everything around me reminds me that the end of the year is near: we survived housing horrors, we're submitting our trees, and the slowly-blooming spring weather which brings with it the changing of the wardrobe lulls us into summertime laziness. 

I don't think I'm the only one who's experiencing this mix of spring fever and classic end-of-the-year burnout. During this time of year, I struggle with balancing the urge to release my foot from the gas-pedal of productivity and the responsibility to not wish away valuable time for "what comes next." But, when "what comes next" is a little peace of mind and the diminishment of stress, it's hard to live in the moment and force myself to tackle one of my many upcoming assignments. When feeling a little powerless in the face of the looming uphill battle to the end of the year, I think it's important to remind ourselves how far we've come and what we've accomplished since August.

Think of all the assignments you've done, the personal struggles you've overcome, and everything inside and outside of the classroom that has helped you grow over the past year. When we're stressed, we often don't give ourselves enough credit. Instead of acknowledging and appreciating everything we've accomplished, we complain about how much we have to do and how we're sure we're going to "fail." We probably said those things about assignments and responsibilities safely tucked under our belts, so we should be more gentle with ourselves and remember that the work, which at the moment seems overwhelming or even pointless, has some meaning and brings us one step closer to the goals we've laid out for ourselves.

It's also important to remember that life isn't all about work, and the experiences that contribute to our romanticized notions of spring and summer are just as important to our well-being as classes. Let yourself be distracted a little by the onset of spring fever. Spend some time outside with your work or the people you care about and let the sunshine and the (hopefully lasting) warm weather alleviate the pressure you put yourself under. Instead of combatting stress by telling yourself, "soon the year will be over," enjoy the little moments you have left in this last full month on campus because when you go home for the summer, you will say a short goodbye to not only your stress, but also the large part of the year untouched by work: relationships. Remember that the goal isn't always to reach the end; sometimes, the journey is the destination.